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Black Friday Search Trends: Getting Ready For Q4 2020

Get ready for Q4 Sales with this article's deep-dive into last year's Black Friday Search Trends, and find out how to prepare your business for Q4 success.
Rael Cline
Last updated:
February 9, 2022

Black Friday originally started as a US shopping event. It's the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving when retailers used to begin the holiday shopping season. 

The official Black Friday date this year is November 27, meaning it's almost as close to Christmas as last year's (November 29) — and less than a month before Christmas Day. It's more of a virtual event these days and will undoubtedly be so with the pandemic affecting movement.

Black Friday also isn't just a long weekend event anymore either — Amazon has started its Black Friday deals a week before the big day (so mark November 20 in your calendars). Last year the Amazon Black Friday sale in the UK started at 00:01 on Friday, November 22, and lasted until 23:59 on Friday, November 29.

Some competitors may even begin at the start of November — again likely with Amazon Prime Day now confirmed for 13th October.  

Given the importance of Black Friday, we thought we would step away from our usual monthly search trends update to look back at Black Friday 2019 and see what we can find in the search data.

We will use UK data to:

  • Compare the top searches from the period with the weeks leading up to it.
  • See whether there were any trends to pick up.  
  • Assess the impact of the most significant increases in search.

Although this article will centre around Black Friday, Prime Day is in Q4 this year. Sellers need to make sure they take advantage of this sales-packed season, build momentum between sales, and carry on that success to drive growth into next year. 

Trend 1: Search behaviour starts pre-event

With "Black Friday" now being a week-long event, it’s interesting to see whether that has any impact on when search terms start to be used more frequently during the build-up to the day. While we can see that Christmas holiday terms (highlighted brown in the table) are the most frequent in the weeks leading up to Black Friday — they become less prevalent as the event approaches.

Amazon search behaviour pre event

If we take the term "Christmas decorations" as an example, it starts at the “number one” position during November 8th to 15th, but falls back to number eight by Black Friday. It does, however, return to its top spot for the week after Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

The popularity of searches more related to Black Friday grows over the weeks leading up to it. These are often bigger ticket items, generally electronics. For example, this is highlighted by the progress of terms like "Nintendo switch" (which ends up at number one on Black Friday); "Fitbit"; "Airpods" and "tv" (which doesn't even make an appearance until the week of Black Friday).

What to do with this information:

Seasonal/Christmas searches power through Q4 from very early days. If you are not selling products typically associated with Black Friday or Cyber Monday ("Electronics", "Computers & Accessories" or "Home & Kitchen") look to be building your brand in the run-up to Christmas and start securing early sales.

If you are in the typical categories for Black Friday, be aware that potential buyers are searching weeks before the event and consider re-targeting options like Sponsored Display and top-of-funnel type advertising such as or Sponsored Brand ads.


Trend 2: Biggest climbers feature brands

The search terms that show the greatest increase in search term ranking for Black Friday itself tend to be for larger brands, and the search terms tend to be branded searches, rather than generic ones

Amazon branded search trends

What to do with this information:

If your product portfolio covers one of these categories, look out for large retailers coming in with high bids and substantial discounts. 

If you sell complementary products, you could look to target specific big brand ASINs to sell your products alongside while customers are in buying mode. It might also mean not having to discount to win a sale.

Trend 3: Brands aren't searched for post-event

When we look at the most substantial decrease in search ranking post-Black Friday, brand names stand out. It appears Shoppers were looking for specific offers from specific brands that no doubt had offers running during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Once those offers are over, shoppers will likely go back to searching for Holiday-related items.

Amazon branded searches post event

What to do with this information:

If you are a brand or re-selling branded items, be on-point to change your search campaigns quickly after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Look for brands that are making big offers and pitch any products that you could associate with their products. For example, you could advertise the cleaning products in your portfolio to sell alongside the big brand vacuum cleaners on offer.


And other trends to watch out for…

Seasonal searches appear in Top 15 from before the start of Q4. 

  • "Christmas decorations" appeared in Top 15 searches towards the end of September 2019.

COVID searches don't dominate everything

  • "Playstation 5" has now replaced "face masks" as Top Amazon search item for mid-September 2020.

Success is about data and planning

Getting ready for Black Friday is really "getting ready for Q4". Even with the possibility of a "second wave" of COVID, this will be a massive quarter for Amazon Sellers and events like Prime Day and Black Friday will be critical milestones.

Central to success is being fleet-of-foot, understanding customers, and monitoring your competitors. This analysis shows that you must analyze your data on an ongoing basis and use it to tailor your strategy.

With the compression of the selling window, all of Q4 will be a roller coaster ride. Detailed analysis and actions in Q3 and early Q4 will be vital to making the most of it. 

We can help you plan and execute a data-driven campaign — get in touch today. Otherwise, check out our two free eBooks to learn about third-party and Amazon-provided tools that can help you leverage your customer data as a competitive advantage: 


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